Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum is a historically important museum located south of Arkansas City, Kansas. The museum was established in 1966 to commemorate the largest land race, in America’s history – the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893.
The mission of the museum is to preserve the artifacts from the Cherokee Strip Land Rush and the rich local history and culture connected with the Native Americans, the westward pioneers, and Cowley County. More than 45,000 artifacts, pictures, and documents are housed in the museum for exhibit and research. Prehistoric relics are also part of exhibits.
The Cherokee Strip Land Rush, one of the most sudden human migrations in history, began here in Arkansas City. Arkansas City was the largest of the registration points for the Rush with more than 75,000 land-hungry pioneers moving to the city to participate.
In this race, more than 100,000 pioneers took part to claim seven million acres of fertile land containing 40,000 homesteads and valuable town lots available in the Cherokee Outlet.
They came by covered wagon, bicycle, car, horseback, and on foot to acquire their piece of fertile ground. After the land run, the title to the Outlet was cleared and was opened for white settlement.
The Bland School, established in Cowley County in 1894, is also a part of the museum. It contains people’s stories of one-room school memories, photographs, report cards, teaching contracts, and many other rural school items.